Friday, April 18, 2014

Living on the Nation

Spring in the Mountains
I have to tell you all that I am happy and healthy - March and most of April have been constant snow and wind.  I have only been able to ride my bike to work and back.   That's okay as my studded snow tires have served me well!   I want to get out on the road bike soon!

Campus Spring Snow Storm
But as soon as the snow comes, it melts - and a then a thin layer of new green begins to creep into the county-side.  Even with another snow, the green grows bolder.

Tsaile Peak, an ancient volcano core
Navajo friends tell me a lot of different things about Tsaile Peak, which I am wanting to hike and climb too the top.  Everyone agrees that you get up from the North side - but there will be deep snow until Summer.  Some tell me you walk right to the top, others say there's a rope you will find and it helps you reach the top.  One of the Facilities Men tells me he was up there when he was about 15 years old - now that he is in his 60's he says the way to get up there, the rocks have fallen off so now you can't get up.  I am happy to report that everyone says there are no spirits or gods that would be upset should I explore, so that's good.

The Blue Birds have arrived and we have this couple building a nest
The Big Murder of Crows, and I must tell you Gentle Readers of This Blog that they are Big and Black and a Tough Bunch - they have built a huge nest, full of large twigs and branches, in the eaves of the library's roof.  But now Blue Birds - I call Little Friends - have arrived.  They are busy and curious and just seems that they are waiting for the right moment to build their nests.  No one will really tell me, but they have a symbolic part to play in the Navajo Religion.  I will leave it at that -

Last Bull Ride
My Navajo friends from work invited me to go to the Inter-Collegiate Rodeo a few weeks ago.  I have never been to a rodeo, and it was fun - at the Fairgrounds in Window Rock.  Navajo Cowboys are much respected - my colleague's son is a Bull Rider.  He's about to ride and she's going to try and capture the few seconds he will be on that beast's back.

I actually met the Rodeo Clown - he was from Tulsa like me - and he explained to me what was going on and how things worked.  These men and women were young college students.  He told me that a lot of the cowboys in the pros are ex-football players.  If some of these guys don't play pro football, they become pro rodeo cowboys.  You have to be that athletic to do what they do.  I saw many a young man and young woman get slammed into the dirt and mud - the broncs and bulls were huge and ferocious.

I rooted for The College, but there was a young Cowboy from University of Arizona, and ranked 5th in the College Rodeo Circut as a Bronc Rider - I have to tell you that the horse he drew slammed him face-first into the ground in half a second.  It was a tough night for everyone.

Luckily, it was a warm night and I didn't freeze.  The best part of going to the rodeo really was that since I drove us down to Window Rock with my car, my boss bought us dinner

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